Generative AI skyrocketed in 2023, and it shows no signs of slowing down. According to Muck Rack’s 2024 AI in PR survey, 64 per cent of PR professionals reported using artificial intelligence by the end of 2023, compared to just 28 per cent in March 2023.
As the number of PR pros who benefit from AI continues to rise, more and more AI tools will emerge for specific purposes and sectors, such as PR. At this point, if you don’t harness AI trends in your business strategy, your company risks falling behind.
In fact, Muck Rack’s survey found that 68 per cent of PR pros fear that newcomers to the PR scene won’t take the time to learn AI properly. For this reason, we’ve compiled our essential tips for making AI a norm in your PR strategy.
What is AI’s role in 2024?
A survey conducted by Prowly found that over one-third of respondents expect AI content generation to be the biggest PR trend in 2024. ChatGPT is indeed a game changer when it comes to inspiring fresh ideas, brainstorming subject lines and repurposing longer content.
Nevertheless, while AI is a lifesaver in overcoming writer’s block, the technology has its limitations.
Some bots, like the free version of ChatGPT, can’t access the internet. In January 2024, when asked whether it can access the internet, the freely available ChatGPT-3.5 responded:
“No, I don’t have the ability to access the internet or retrieve real-time information. My responses are generated based on a mixture of licensed data, data created by human trainers, and publicly available data up to my last training cut-off in January 2022.”
So that’s a whopping two years prior – which is a crucial drawback when it comes to accessing real-time, up-to-date information for PR purposes.
This restriction also makes AI ineffective at accessing media contact details, although it does prove helpful in suggesting media outlets to target. But remember: you must be very specific when assigning tasks to ChatGPT by providing sufficient background information and task details to make the results usable.
Missing the human touch
Another disadvantage of AI is its lack of emotional intelligence. Although this detail prevents AI from creating perfect content right off the bat, the flaw is actually a win for us humans.
As Finesse’s CEO Jo noted during the earlier years of the technology, AI simply cannot capture the “age-old idea of storytelling and focusing on telling human stories to one another”.
Instead, AI allows us to leverage our highly skilled (and lovely to work with!) human team. By collaborating using the tools available, we can maximise our skillset, which ensures that we exceed expectations and provide a level of value that goes beyond what a robot could ever achieve.
Maximise your PR success by using AI
When generating creative content ideas, AI is a valuable asset. Tools like ChatGPT can speed up the brainstorming process by crafting social media captions, whipping up attractive graphics and listing ideas for a branding strategy. But for more specific tasks, like creating a personalised pitch for a top-tier journalist, it would be best to invest your AI use elsewhere.
Beyond content generation, AI can help with the research process. 58.7 per cent of PR pros say that AI tools quicken their research and, therefore, save time. Plus, as more AI tools become connected to the internet, research efficiency will continue to improve.
AI also cuts costs for PR strategies: according to The State of PR Technology 2023, 43.5 per cent of participants reported that using AI tools for their PR reduced spending and cut resources.
The question is: how can you use AI effectively and to its fullest potential?
1. Research the AI tools most suited to your team.
Selecting the right AI tools is essential for levelling up your PR efforts. Look for platforms tailored to the PR industry, addressing specific needs like content creation and media monitoring.
Importantly, the tools you select should seamlessly integrate into your existing workflow to ensure a smooth alliance between human expertise and AI efficiency.
Prowly is one useful source for PR-oriented AI products. It offers an advantage over ChatGPT by cutting out the need to input prompts manually. Prowly’s solution can create press releases based on real-time questions, then scope out relevant journalists, create pitches and brainstorm subject lines.
2. Provide proper AI training.
The transition to an AI-focused PR strategy can be overwhelming. To ease worries, equip your team with the skills they need to navigate AI interfaces and maximise their value.
AI has generated a massive amount of buzz, so now is the perfect opportunity for companies to take advantage of this excitement by empowering their employees with the skills to operate in an AI-powered world. Companies that future-proof themselves by staying on top of AI trends will be the most successful.
3. Give AI excellent prompts… and practise, practise, practise!
Optimal AI performance relies on mastering prompt techniques. Whether you are crafting social media posts or generating headlines, precise prompts will increase your chances of an appealing outcome. As your team tests which prompts work the best for your objectives, everyone will learn from the process.
Try testing the following advice next time you prompt ChatGPT:
- First, give it a role: “You are a PR professional and an expert at writing clear, non-promotional press releases.”
- Then, instead of asking ChatGPT to simply shorten a piece of writing, ask for specific editing tips, like: “Rewrite this text in AP style.”
- Finally, input examples that provide adequate background information. ChatGPT learns best by example, so inputting previous work will help it mimic the desired style and voice.
4. Make AI check-ins part of your team’s routine.
Regular check-ins will allow your team to assess whether your current AI strategies are helping you achieve your goals. During these check-ins, your team can collect input, identify areas for improvement and modify your AI strategies accordingly. As your PR goals evolve, you’ll need to adjust your approach to AI too.
Nurture an environment of continuous learning to keep up with the evolving AI landscape, fostering a culture of growth and adaptability. Not only will this motivate your team to stay updated with the latest AI trends, but it will also encourage teammates to collaborate and share knowledge.
The bottom line
As AI tools continue to propel the PR industry into a new age, it is up to you to make sure your business is prepared. By aligning with the latest AI trends and developing a plan for your team, you will set your brand up for success. The right approach to AI can be the most valuable addition to your PR – so don’t fall behind.
Need more guidance on upgrading your company’s PR? Schedule a call with Jo today to craft the perfect strategy for your brand.